Fendi is always a major part of Milan Fashion Week, but Thursday's Fall 2019 show was especially anticipated as Karl Lagerfeld had passed away just two days prior. This meant the new collection would be the iconic designer's last, and from what his closest collaborators had to say, he planned every detail until the end. When guests arrived, they found a tribute sketch in every seat, affirming the show was going to be a touching finale to a 54-year creative relationship.
The clothing touched upon Lagerfeld's favorite motifs and early style, with exaggerated bow ties, slouchy-chic boots, and plenty of yellow (the designer's favorite color) among the highlights. Looks broke from the dominant sea of brown logomania from recent seasons in favor of displaying Lagerfeld's imaginative craft one last time at Fendi, but those double-Fs still made a chic appearance, in a more fanciful style on bodysuits underneath a series of sheer dresses. Each model wore a low ponytail in tribute to the creative director, and Gigi Hadid closed the show with a sunny dress, knee-high boots, and tears in her eyes.
After the runway romp had ended, another surprise was in store, as the back wall read "Love, Karl" in Lagerfeld's own handwriting before everything went dark. A brief video then played, showing the designer sketching himself (and narrating the process) on his first day at Fendi back in 1965. The tribute got audience members out of their seats for a better view, as well as touching anyone who had made it through the collection with dry eyes.
It seems Lagerfeld knew the end of his time was coming, but as characteristic of the mysterious icon, he never commented on it publicly and instead quietly planned his sartorial goodbyes to the houses he worked with for so long. One can only imagine what he has in store for Chanel, for which even a normal show was a moving spectacle.